Disaster Recovery

In the world of computers, there is one indisputable fact - systems crash. Today's malware is more destructive than ever. Hard drives fail. Whether you're a home or a small business user, your data is valuable. Your time is valuable, too. What will you do if malware or hard drive failure renders your hard drive inaccessible? Do you have your data backed up? Do you have a system recovery disk? Do you have the installation CDs for all of your applications? If the answer to any of these questions is no, it could be an expensive and time-consuming process to rebuild it all.

There are a few levels of disaster recovery - these can be implemented individually or all together.

Data Backup - Documents, photos, music, financial records, databases, etc. can be backed up in a number of ways, depending on the amount of data to be backed up. The best way is the use of an external hard drive and some sort of automatic backup application. Small amounts of data can be backed up on CD or DVD.

System Recovery Disk - Manufacturers no longer include recovery CDs with a desktop or laptop PC. Recovery is stored on a separate partition on the hard drive. If the drive fails, system recovery from that partition may not be possible. Most systems have the facility to create a recovery disk (or disks) from an application on the PC. This must be done while the machine is still working, and can only be done once. This disk will restore your PC to a brand new state.

Disk Cloning - This is the ultimate disaster recovery plan. Using a special application, a clone (a complete, exact copy of your entire hard drive) can be made on another hard drive of the same type and size. This is done while your system is healthy. In the event of a total system crash or drive failure, the clone drive can be quickly installed into your machine, and it will be in the exact state it was when the clone was made. You'll need to have a backup of any data that was saved, and install any applications that were installed since the clone was made. Clones can even be redone on a regular basis.

If your data and your time are valuable to you, and you’d like to have a disaster recovery plan in place, call The PC Handyman.